The Most Iconic Menu Item at In-N-Out (and Every Other Top Fast Food Chain)
When you venture to your favorite guilty pleasure restaurant, make sure you're checking out the best fast food items on the menu.
In-N-Out: Animal Style Burger
In-N-Out fanatics love the secret menu—and we can’t blame them. The normal menu only has four food options, but the secret menu includes an additional six, our favorite being the Animal Style Burger. It features all our favorite burger fixings, plus a mustard-grilled patty and extra “spread,” which is essentially just In-N-Out’s own secret sauce.
Five Guys: Cajun Fries
You may be surprised to hear that the most iconic food at a burger joint is its fries—unless you’ve ever been to Five Guys. Their Cajun fries are incredible. They’re made fresh each day with potatoes from Idaho—fried in fresh peanut oil and coated with a delicious blend of savory spices. I can hear your mouth watering from here—try one of our favorite copycat fries recipes to satisfy your appetite.
Chick-fil-A: Chicken Nuggets
There is something otherworldly about the chicken nuggets at Chick-fil-A. Perfectly bite-sized and always juicy, these nuggets will leave you with a massive smile on your face. Before you leave, don’t forget to load up on famous Chick-fil-A sauce. (Here’s what’s actually in it.)
Taco Bell: Doritos Locos Taco Supreme
It’s a taco in a Dorito—how could we pick any other menu item? It’s got all of our favorite taco fillings, plus an outer shell that hits us with an extra cheesy, crunchy blast. The best part is that you can get Cool Ranch or Fiery Dorito shells too, but we like the classic touch.
Taco Supremes aside, did you know Taco Bell is one of the healthiest fast foods?
McDonald’s: Big Mac
We come for the Big Mac and stay for the fries. This burger has been a favorite of McDonald’s patrons for more than 50 years—a time throughout which its recipe has never changed. Loaded with two burgers, special sauce and your favorite toppings, it’s no surprise this one has been popular for so many decades.
Starbucks: Peppermint Mocha
Known for specialty coffee drinks, Starbucks produces dozens of rotating espresso drinks each year. Our favorite is the peppermint mocha, which you can find between November and January. This seasonal favorite features Starbucks’s rich mocha mixed with peppermint syrup and topped with chocolate flakes. Don’t even get us started on the White Chocolate Peppermint Mocha. (It’s also delicious.)
Dairy Queen: Oreo Blizzard
It doesn’t matter what time of the year it is, you can’t keep us away from the Oreo Blizzard at Dairy Queen. This soft serve cup of deliciousness has been extremely popular since it was introduced in 1985. We can’t get enough ice cream, and if you can’t either, try of one our favorite homemade ice cream recipes.
There is nothing quite like a refreshing 99-cent Frosty on a summer weeknight. Delicious, chocolaty, frozen and filling, Frostys pair perfectly with every meal or just a side of fries.
Never made a milkshake before? Find out how we do it—it’s easy!
Burger King: Whopper
There’s nothing quite like the original. The Whopper has been around since the late ’50s, and like the Bic Mac, its recipe hasn’t changed in decades. It’s flame grilled and chock-full of lettuce, tomatoes, onions and pickles. Burger King is also known for its sesame-seed buns, which provide that extra li’l somethin’ that sets them apart from other burger chains.
Panera: Strawberry Poppyseed Chicken Salad
This is the absolute perfect salad for warm summer days—or busy nights where you know you should cook but don’t want to. Packed with toasted pecans and all our favorite fresh fruits, like pineapples and blueberries, this salad has it all. Check out our take on it.
Pizza Hut: Anything with the Ultimate Cheesy Crust
Pepperoni and cheese remain the most popular menu items for pizza places, so if you’re a big pizza chain, how do you stand out? Pizza Hut found the answer with its Ultimate Cheesy Crust, which features a ring of cheese-filled bites that pull apart from the pizza. Share with your friends, or—if you’re me—maintain eye contact with the delivery driver and assure him that while he can’t see them, you have friends who are definitely here to share this pizza with you.
Popeye’s: Bonafide Chicken (Spicy)
Hot chicken is a true gift to this world. This Louisiana-based chicken chain soaks its signature chicken in a hot marinade, coats it with a deliciously spicy Cajun blend and then fries it to perfection. It’s served with a buttery biscuit and a side of your choice, but seriously how could you not get the Cajun fries?
If you live in the North, you pass at least six Dunkins on the walk to work. On those mornings where you truly feel like indulging, pick up a box of Munchkins and pretend like you got them for your co-workers. These small donut holes are perfectly bite-sized and delicately chewy—we’re particular fans of the powdered sugar donut holes.
Qdoba: Chicken Burrito Bowl
Some people swear by handheld burritos, but we love this burrito bowl at Qdoba. It gives us our favorite burrito toppings, like rice and corn and salsa, but omits the carb-loaded tortilla wrap. Here are more copycats we love.
That’s right, we’re telling you to head straight for the biscuits at a chain well-known for its incredible chicken. That is how good these biscuits are. I mean, definitely try the chicken, but make sure you get a side of biscuits to go, because you’ll be chomping on these buttery delicacies all night long. And if you didn’t get enough, try one of our favorite biscuit recipes to see if you can replicate the feeling.
Shake Shack: Shackburger
When a burger comes wrapped in paper, you know it’s the real deal. Shake Shack hasn’t been around as long as its fellow burger chains, but that doesn’t make it any less of a contender for burger champion. The Shackburger is flame-grilled, coated with a signature sauce and served on a potato bun. I mean, yum.
Sonic: Butterfinger Blast
Sonic has a corner on the drive-in fast food market. Not many restaurants have car hops—let alone car hops on skates—but the real reason you should be visiting Sonic is for the Butterfinger Blasts. They feature soft serve vanilla ice cream swirled with chunks of chocolaty, buttery masses.
Domino’s: Pepperoni Pizza
It’s hard to go wrong with the classics, especially at Domino’s. Their pepperoni pizza is the most popular menu item, which isn’t surprising after you’ve had a slice. The crust is loaded with seasonings and garlic flavor, propelling their pepperoni pizza above the others.
Salivating? We don’t blame you—try our homemade version of the best-ever pepperoni pizza.
Zaxby’s: Chicken Finger Plate
Southern favorite Zaxby’s features a menu packed with chicken-inspired favorites, like sandwiches, plates and wings. We love the chicken finger plate, which includes Zaxby’s famous tenders—fried to perfection—a slice of white bread, coleslaw and crispy french fries. And don’t forget the Zax Sauce, or as my brother calls it, “the reason I got out of bed this morning.”
Subway: Spicy Italian Sub
We love a classic Italian sub sandwich, and who better to deliver than one of the nation’s largest sandwich chains? The spicy Italian sub at Subway comes with pepperoni, salami, hot peppers and a mix of crispy veggies. Go for the ultimate version and try your favorite sub on cheesy garlic bread.
Arby’s: Curly Fries
Their slogan focuses on the meats, but we are all about those curly fries. Crisp, seasoned and melt-in-your-mouth delicate, these fries are the perfect side to any dish. Or, more realistically, the perfect snack after a long day—you’ve earned them. (Not near an Arby’s? Make your own curly fries.)
Hardee’s: Bacon Cheese Thickburger
You know a place is serious about their burgers when the menu listing starts with weight. The 1/3-pound bacon cheese Thickburger from Hardee’s is 100-percent Angus beef and 100-percent delicious. You won’t see us turning down any burger with bacon, especially one we can get loaded with cheese.
Chipotle: Carnitas Burrito
Chipotle knows its way around a burrito. We can’t get enough tasty burrito recipes in our lives, and when it comes to Chipotle, we love the carnitas burrito. Load it with savory meats, Chipotle rice, flavorful beans and—you guessed it—that sweet, sweet guac.
Hungry for more? Check out our guide for the best fast-food burritos.
Jack in the Box: Sourdough Jack
For a while, Jack in the Box was best-known for its hilarious ads. Now, we love them for their Sourdough Jack, a deliciously juicy cheeseburger served on sourdough bread and topped with the good stuff—Swiss cheese and bacon. Arm yourself with a side of curly fries and you’ve got a meal set to make your heart and belly happy.